Twelve years ago, in college, I had a near-death experience. From the girl's dormitory, a friend cried out in excruciating pain. Terrified, my fellows and I frantically got dressed, called the school driver and decided to rush her to the hospital.
It was past midnight--the van was running steadily in a one-way-zigzag-road at the foot of the mountains, when some of us started to doze off. Half-asleep, I started to imagine how the surroundings looked like as we were passing by. Being familiar with the terrain, there was only one word to describe it --MAJESTIC. To the left side of the road was like a landscape of bushes descending towards the valley. Vegetation of all sorts can be seen, from wild grass, bushes, shrubs to the prominent and abundant banana trees.
Amidst the beauty and serenity of it all, there was one thing that made this place fearful--along the road runs a deep and deadly crevasse that extends the mountain's foothills.
I was awaken by my friend's whimpering, she was in tears because she couldn't handle the pain. Without warning, we didn't know that the driver dozed off and in one quick instant, the van was running through the bushes like a roller-coaster. As the van skid off the road, things got worse, the van tumbled into the crevasse. Holding on to dear life, we were crying and screaming like there was no tomorrow---I was only praying that we survive.
Then BOOM! Silence followed and then a sudden loud cry for help. I was seated at the opposite back side of the driver but apparently every one was on top of me. I couldn't move nor utter a word. My ribs were broken. Our world turned up-side-down we realized our fall was broken by the old huge Gmelina tree (Gmelina arborea). The driver was trapped in the front seat and the bumper of the van almost buried in roots of the tree.
I was so thankful to God for that tree, it was there for a reason, it was there to save us. We could have fallen down the cliff and died on the spot without that tree of life.
In was only a matter of time when help arrived. We were all badly injured so we had to be rushed to the hospital and ironically, got reprimanded by the College Dean. It took two months for me to recover from that ordeal, but the scar of the trauma lasts a lifetime.
Whenever I pass by the same place, I utter to myself, "Get me out of here!" But, I will always remember THE TREE.